file backup

JustCloud – Really, Just a Cloud

1_JustCloudLogo

If your first impression from the service is that it is exceptionally unpleasant and user unfriendly, you are in the exact place where we are. And it doesn’t get any better when you familiarize with the system.

Probably the most irritating part is that the mailing system of JustCloud sends you an email literally upon every move you make within the platform. Also, since it does not actually provide a free version (but if you trick it, it does!), it constantly reminds you that you need to upgrade to a paid plan by pop-ups and adds on the web application and on your task bar if you install the application. It says it only gives you a 14-day trial version. However, truth is that even when this period expires, there is no problem to use the service, although it becomes even more annoying. If you stop using the web or desktop application, you will continue getting emails begging you to come back.

Upon registration the system gives you various discounts, usually about 20% off of your plan price. Actually, the longer you wait during your free trial, the bigger the discount offered to sign up for paid account.

After you register an account on the JustCloud website, the desktop application automatically starts downloading on your device. It performs backup of your files to cloud.

2_After Automatic Backup

You can assign scheduled and automated backups and not bother manually performing them later. The platform provides a Drag & Drop functionality, which makes it easy for you to place the files you need to backup in the specific folder of the cloud system. You can also set parameters for the amount of system resources to use and specify not performing backups unless your computer is idle.

The file sharing system is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. It offers applications for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. With the online cloud storage system you can share files with friends and other users. You can invite them by email, Facebook, Twitter or provide them with a custom link.

Using the Control Panel functionality you can easily trace the transition of your files to and from the platform, the space you are using, the space remaining, the time remaining for your payment plan, and many others. The control panel allows you to access all of your backed up and synced files from any device with an internet connection, anywhere.

However, here is one serious breakdown. If you decide to upload your files and (since in this blog we particularly talk about photos) large collections of images, you can only upload them on a one-by-one basis! How is that possible?! Also, once uploaded, the platform structure is not quite clear and you may have difficulties finding and sorting your files. Here is a web view of the options the platform provides.

3_Options

JustCloud offers 24/7 Technical Support and online help, which could be quite necessary because the service is not too user friendly and intuitive, as you notice.

Shortly, for personal use, JustCloud works fine for backing up and syncing files now and then. However, for professional use, we would recommend other data backup services.

Your Photos in (a) Shoebox!

1_Shoebox logo

Nah, Shoesbox is not a place to store your shoes. It’s a place to store your photos. And I don’t mean the developed ones. What Shoebox does is simply backup and organize your digital photos. Not a lot more to it. Also, you can share galleries of your favorite moments with your friends and colleagues by social media or through email.

You can use Shoebox through web or via its desktop and mobile applications. What made us a good impression is the simplicity of the registration process. No extra information required, such as your address or credit card details. Simply enter your name, email address and password and start using the platform.

Regardless of whether you use Shoebox on your computer or your mobile, the application works and looks quite the same. So, for this example we decided to test its desktop version. Once installed, it requires you to select folders to backup from your system.

2_Select folders

When you make your selection, your photos start uploading to the web platform. You can resume backup at any time or add additional folders for synchronization. The upload speeds are not particularly high, although one cannot complain much.

The basic catch here is the photo resolution limit. Provided you don’t want to pay $5/month, you will have to satisfy with the 1024 maximum resolution of your backed up photos.

Your photos are encrypted using the AES-256 standard. Unfortunately, in Shoebox’s Terms and Conditions section they honestly state that they may access, read, preserve and disclose any information for various reasons. However, if this doesnt bother you, you can benefit from the great photo organizing and storing options.

3_Timeline

In the Timeline section of your Shoebox you get all of your photos in the order of uploading. By the way, Shoebox provides a wonderful photo preview option. Also, you can play a slideshow of your images.

In the Events section you have your photos arranged by the time they had been taken. This platform is very useful when your images come with information from the camera they had been taken with. This way the system is capable of sorting them in many ways, such as by the type of camera they were made with, the date they were taken, and even by their location. The cloud backup platform also gives its users a powerful search option, where you can add various search criteria.

And lastly, you can easily share your precious moments with your friends and collaborators by using the Share option of Shoebox. Due to its organization options, you can also view and modify your shares at any time.

Conclusively, besides the aforementioned security issues, the platform seems like a good idea for storing your images. It may be especially useful for backing up the photos you take with your mobile phone, since Shoebox offers apps for Android and iOS. And most of all, thumbs up for the file organizing options, being some of the best we have seen by now.

Wuala for your Photos

1_Wuala_logo

What is your greatest concern when storing your photos in the cloud? Do you want to store them in complete privacy? Then Wuala is definitely a good option. The more commonly used cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, are very convenient and user-friendly, but when we talk about security, they are definitely not the best possible options.

You can use Wuala as a desktop or mobile application for data backup and file synchronization. Unfortunately, Wuala does not offer a free plan. Its paid ones start from 5 GB/EUR 0,99/ month and reach 100 GB/EUR 389/year (for 5 users). The service is definitely not a cheap one, but it is one of the most secure platforms available. It is supported on Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. To use the Wuala service, you need to install its application on your computer or mobile device.

2_Start view

Initially it gives you four preliminarily created folders where you can backup your files. Using the Add button you can also add files and folders which need to be synchronized. You can also add files for backup and create public and private groups for your stored files.

3_Add sync

The Wuala service mainly differs from the mainstream cloud storage providers in the security measures applied. First, it’s the client-side encryption. All of your files are encrypted locally on your device before being sent to the cloud, which ensures that even on a non-encrypted transfer, no readable data would leak out. The other thing is the policy of Wuala not to have access to your passwords. Only you know your password, but if you lose your password, you will not have access to your files anymore.

If you need to sync particular folders of your photos, click the Add Sync function and manually locate your files in the system to add them for synchronization.

4_Select sync

When your files are synced, you can right-click on any of your folders and make use of the additional features that appear in the drop-down menu. You can also favorite a folder by clicking the star sign that appears to the left of your folder.

5_Folder options

Shortly, Wuala ensures you easily perform file backup and synchronization. It works like any other Sync tool, but with the benefit of being really secure. With Wuala your photos will be safe in the cloud and you will be sure that noone will have access to them, except if you like them to.